Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley asked City Manager Harry Black Thursday to delay the implementation of a proposed sewer surcharge on local breweries pending further review.
According to Kevin Osborne, Director of Communications, Mayor Cranley wants the City Administration to examine the methodology used by the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) to determine the amount of the surcharge. In addition, he wants a report on how best to implement the charge so brewery owner's aren't assessed a large, unexpected lump-sum fee that smaller operations may have difficulty in paying without advance notice and planning.
MSD contacted local breweries about the impending surcharge in a letter on March 2.
“Christian Moerlein, Rhinegeist and other brewers have quickly become a vital part of our city's fabric and we appreciate their growth,” Mayor Cranley said in a release. “Because they think they have been mistreated, I want to hear them out and investigate.”
According to Osborne, some of the brewery owners said the process was confusing and said it was announced without enough warning. Some of the brewers have alleged MSD hasn't provided them with hard data on the effluent levels that individual breweries are sending into the sewers.
“I would like the city manager to delay the surcharge until we have better data to provide business owners, and the process is fully and clearly explained to them,” Mayor Cranley said in the release. “We need to develop a win-win outcome for MSD, breweries and all ratepayers.”